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Achieving Success in City Schools

Students are filled with dreams, talent, and potential no matter where students live. It is the responsibility of the school administration, staff, and parents to help develop the skills and knowledge needed to help them grow and be successful. This participation should be the case in every school, regardless of location. Historically, students in city schools have not been given the tools they need to succeed. As more students reach school age in the cities, this becomes more critical. In 2019, 16% of first-time homeowners were looking in urban areas for new homes. Focusing on three critical areas can help students achieve success in city schools.

Student Wholeness

In Rochester, every student is unique with their own challenges, talents, experiences, emotions, social and physical lives. Therefore, it is essential to teach the whole student when teaching students. Teaching the whole student means keeping the experiences and how they have impacted them in mind while determining the best way to reach and teach them. Then, when their needs are met, and they have a voice, their passion can be ignited.

This means teaching them more than just what is in a book. Focus on ways for students to learn how to manage stress, handle conflict, feel confident, and be responsible with their decisions. There should be a focus on positive reinforcement and not punishment. Students need to see that they are rewarded for doing the right things. Students also need athletics, health services, and free meals. This is all in addition to a well rounded curriculum that includes arts, technology, and world language. According to a Texas Instruments study, 24% of students hate or dislike math, while 46% report they like or love math.


In Rochester and around the world, administrators, teachers, and other adults are critical to the success of students. In the most high-performing systems of education, there is an emphasis on leadership. This includes a collaboration with coaches, mentors, and parents. In public schools, 24% of teachers report that lack of parental involvement is a problem in their school, while 3% of private school teachers report this is a problem. Not only should there be leaders throughout the school day for students, but they should be taught how to become leaders. When professional growth is encouraged within the school, it creates a culture where students and staff see and understand that learning and knowledge are essential.


Listening, speaking, reading, and writing is critical pieces of education. These are critical for all areas of learning and subject matter. When students are able to express themselves, it opens numerous doors that extend beyond the classroom in Rochester. These are foundational tools that help students develop deep conceptual understanding and complex knowledge. Literacy is vital for success in life. It gives students the confidence to chase their dreams and explore their interests. Before students are able to develop a strong foundation in literacy, teachers need to have a deep working knowledge of literacy and how to teach it. This may require teachers to have specialized training in literacy, especially for the age group they teach. It is helpful for schools to have literacy coaches on staff for any training needs.

City schools may have uniques needs when it comes to ensuring their students have all the tools they need to succeed. That does not mean success isn’t possible. Success is absolutely possible for every student in every school in Rochester. It is critical that the teachers and administration meet students where they are and understand their needs. This is a fundamental and crucial requirement to ensure the success of every student.